Earth Images is not, and will not become a religious blog. Just the same, every once in a while I will share with you my walk with God. It is glorious experience and I (and you) am privileged to be a child of God. These posts will go out to subscribers, and will probably be removed from Earth Images after a few days. I am looking for a suitable place to move them, and I might start what will be my third blog, just for this important subject. Please understand that today’s writings are as always, my opinions. Everybody has a right to their own opinions and beliefs. I am in the process of performing a labor of love, as I go about the act of reading and understanding the Word of God. I will preface my statements about today‘s Bible verses by saying that I enjoy entertainment. I watch sports and other entertainment on television and have done so in person, and I like selected (by me) music from the genres of rock, country, folk, Americana and blues. I am not a “bible-thumper”. I simply realize, that it is the only place to find the absolute truth about the Christian experience. Church, may be a building you visit on Sunday’s or some other day, or one you attend via television, the radio, or the internet. It may be a room where only you and God attend. If any church is truly God’s House, it surely has to contain the Spirit of God, in its sermons, music and other aspects of its services.
Amos Chapter 5
21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell your solemn assemblies.
22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings, and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
23 Take you away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your vials.
24 But let judgment run down as waters and Righteousness a mighty stream.
This is God The Father speaking of churches that proclaim to be of Him (God), but instead further the ways of the world and of the flesh. From the created ceremonies of man (not God), to music which is of a “different spirit”, how God rejects these things, and how serious He considers them, is obvious by His strong choice of words in the above verses.
A few days ago I watched some video of a “Christian” conference. This was a conference with services for ministers. I repeat, this was a conference and services for ministers. They had a band on stage playing music that I might equate to Def Leopard, Black Sabbath or another metal band. They danced on stage and encouraged other ministers and their guests to move in a similar fashion and they would bring you up on stage or feature you on camera.
I don’t know what is preached in the churches that theses ministers reside over, and I am terrified at what might be the answer. I do know that you cannot mix the ways of the world, and the urges of the flesh, and call it anointed or pretend it is done to worship God.
I come from a youth filled with blues and hard rock, and I admit to having liked that music most of my life. If it comes on the radio today I do not turn it off. I am not suggesting that you or anybody do that, although I think that when we are fully walking with God, that we just might want to. It does not belong at a conference of learning about God and of worship. True Christian and/or gospel music is of a completely different spirit than other music. They can’t be mixed. I am telling you, that you can feel the difference.
A church doesn’t have to play heavy metal music to bring “the world” and the ways of the flesh into was is supposed to be, a Godly environment. The church should be an escape from “things of self”, and of the world, and all its sinning ways. It is about worship of the Lord, and spiritual and educational (the Bible) growth.
Coming to God and accepting the changes that come with the born again experience late in life, is interesting. Much of the world who likes to call themselves Christian, are in fact pretend Christians. That is not new. It began around 2,000 years ago. They just want to “feel religious”. The secular world likes to paint Christians as phonies and hypocrites. They of course do not acknowledge all the great Christians there are in the world, but there is much truth in what they say.
I know what you’re thinking…….aren’t Christians supposed to non-judgmental? Well yes, but no.
We are indeed not to decide for ourselves, which individuals are actually saved or born again. That is between God and that person. It is against scripture to judge people on their color, or language or according to whether they are man or woman. Tall, short, heavy thin? It is not up to us. Often people have handicaps. They are sometimes the most blessed by God among us and it is not our responsibility to judge them by their handicap. Superficiality, is not a part of our assigned judgments. We are told to hate the sin, but love the sinner. That is simple logic, because we are all sinners.
We are however, in charge of our own spiritual discernment. It is up to us to choose (judge?) our teachers, our churches etc. We are also held responsible for rightfully dividing the Bible. It is our responsibility to get the meaning of the Bible right. We are told to expose the teaching of false doctrine.
Not one of us ever goes a single day without passing judgment, and we never will. Some judgment is good and even necessary. We hire people, via election or appointment, to be judges. They are paid for the sole purpose of judging. It is perfectly biblical for us to do that. If Christians cannot judge anything or anybody, then we better inform our local municipality of that fact because when we serve on a jury (I have), we are once again asked to be a judge. We are a part of the definitive answer to acts of crime or civil arguments, and your judgment is called into service at all times during the trial.
I am told, although I cannot prove it, that there is now a health club chain, that is trying to appeal not to the beautiful people, but to those of us who are out of shape. Too fat, too skinny. That is of course an idea that was made to find success in business, but I certainly support it. The gym wants to make sure that potential customers who are less than stellar in their appearance, perhaps like you and me, are not intimidated by other customers who are a part of the “beautiful crowd’, and may be judgmental against those who are not. Once again I think that is a great idea. I am told, that they have signs above the workout equipment, that tells users to wipe down the equipment when done, and don’t judge others. On the wall opposite the equipment, there is a series of signs telling you everything that is wrong with people who judge. They (the business) make a long, long series of judgmental statements criticizing those who they deem to be too judgmental.
A big part of being a Christian is living life in a way that all decent societies dictate, and have copied from the Bible. Keep your word, be kind to people you meet, don’t steal, honor your father and mother, and on and on and on. The Ten Commandments, the first (Mosaic Law) of the many commandments in the Bible, are the root of all societal law. From your local village to the governmental seats of nations, it has served mankind well.
One criticism that the secular world often hurdles at Christians is, “they are always so self-righteous”. Some of you I am sure scream that out loud when you are reading my posts, especially this one. Always remember, I never say you have to agree, or live the way I say it should be. Actually, with this subject I am repeating what I have read in the best-selling book of all time, the Bible. The truth is, when it comes to sin I just have more experience than most of you. I know what I am talking about. I was never mean to other people, I was never violent towards anybody, and I never stole from people, but I managed to commit most of the sins that commonly cross our minds when we think about sin. I may have even invented some new ones. Sin, is a subject I am an expert at, therefore I tend to be very vocal about it. Of course I still sin, just like each of you do. The great news about Jesus is, he provided a way out for us.
One sure way to be disliked in the world, is to tell the truth. Politicians who are honest by nature (yes they exist) and who tell the truth, always make sure to return to lies when re-election is near. They know that most voters would rather be told what they want to hear, than the hard truth. Liberalism is a much easier sell to the public than true conservatism, if we can remember what true conservatism is or was. Telling people they are downtrodden and have no hope, and that others who are successful want to keep them down, but they can count on us to take care of you, is a much easier sell in modern-day America, than that the dream is still alive, but it is still built on hard work, perseverance and faith. A modern-day minister, preacher, reverend, priest, theological teacher, has a much easier time telling people what they want to hear, and teaching only the part of the Bible that they think will please them, than he/she does teaching the whole Word, and with it the Truth. The Bible has much glory, kindness and love to share, but it is a book about sin and how to defeat it. Preaching part of the story, is dishonest. Preaching the truth, will make you loved by a few, and scorned and even hated by many. God Bless those who preach the truth.
I could never be as brave as those who do preach that truth, but I will continue to say what I believe, even if I become the only reader left of the posts that I write.
When I write articles on this subject, whether they are a part of a photography post, or a stand alone message, they contain the only subject that causes people to unsubscribe/leave Earth Images. All of those political/social articles I have written, have only lost me a few readers, and they have quickly been replaced by new ones. But this subject of Christianity makes many people mad or at least uncomfortable. Several people have left Earth Images since I began this part of my journey. Previously open minds close like steel traps. Hopefully it does not have that effect on you.
I have never “just” shared pictures on Earth Images. I write about my inner thoughts, and my personal journeys. I try to become a more complete person. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, but I share with you what I experience along the way.
Have a great day and God Bless you, Wayne
Just a few pictures to brighten your day.